"Only a fool would deny that millions have been the tragic victims of communism, but that number pales, surely, in comparison with the victims of capitalism."And here, in case you haven't seen it, is the winning submission for the Monument :
With $3-million from the federal government on donated land valued at $1-million across from the Supreme Court and announced in the 2010 Speech from the Throne, Harper and Kenney were ground level supporters - presumably due to their oft-sited statistic that one quarter of Canadians are survivors or relatives of survivors of communism.
Media Co-op, Sept 2013 : Government has close ties to 'victims of communism' monument project
"The leader of a group receiving $1.5 million [now up to$3M] in federal funds to build a monument to victims of communism says Canada's Prime Minister and Minister for Multiculturalism have been part of the project from the start – a role uncommon for politicians in the creation of public monuments.
“True inspiration comes directly from the PM,” Tribute to Liberty Chair Ludwik Klimkowski told the Toronto Media Co-op in a recent phone interview. “It was Stephen Harper’s idea of recognizing the contribution of people who came from communist countries.”
Klimkowski also said Tribute to Liberty “has its beginnings in 2008 when [Multiculturalism Minister] Jason Kenney was visiting a memorial erected by another group,” but declined to answer further questions about the politicians’ histories with the organization."
I wonder what that 'other memorial erected by another group' might be?
The US Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation boasted George W Bush as Honorary Chair from 2003 - 2009 and Grover Norquist as a Principal Officer.
Bush dedicated the US Victims of Communism Memorial in June 2007.
The foundation's chair, Dr. Lee Edwards, is also Chairman of the Board of the Global Museum on Communism.
In 2008, the three founders of the Canadian Tribute to Liberty were :
- Philip Leong : Honorary Patron of TtL, now VP and Director at RBC. In 2012 John Baird and Ed Fast appointed him to the APEC Business Advisory Council.
- Alide Forstmanis : former Canadian Alliance Party field organizer; TtL Chair from 2008 - 2012. Quote : "the Cold War victory remains incomplete..." In 2009, she wrote in the Western Standard Shotgun Blog, former home of Ezra : "there will be no public money going toward having the memorial built". Well, that was then.
- Wladyslaw Lizon, who became a Con MP in 2011, beating out the former Lib MP by 1½% of the vote. At a donation of $100 per brick Mr. Lizon is Brick #2938-2942 in the proposed Monument. You may recall Lizon teamed up with fellow Con MPs Maurice Vellacott and Leon Benoit a year ago to write a letter to the RCMP requesting they investigate late term abortions as homicides.
In 2009, after Harper had written to Kenney assuring his support for the monument, the National Capital Commission, an advisory board on commissions to the parliamentary grounds, suggested changing the name of the monument :
"It’s not communism itself that we should be fighting here. It is rather totalitarianism we are against in any form."
Well, that didn't fly and ultimately the government also ignored the majority of the commission's choice of design for the monument. The monument's footprint is to be in place in time for the October election; it has the backing of all four of the major parties.
Meanwhile regarding victims closer to home, Stephen Harper told Peter Mansbridge in December re missing and murdered aboriginal women that : "… it isn't really high on our radar, to be honest."